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Map of Oman
 

 
Geography


Location: Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and UAE

Geographic coordinates: 21 00 N, 57 00 E

Map references: Middle East

Area:
total: 212,460 sq km
land: 212,460 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Kansas

Land boundaries:
total: 1,374 km
border countries: Saudi Arabia 676 km, UAE 410 km, Yemen 288 km

Coastline: 2,092 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: dry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south

Terrain: vast central desert plain, rugged mountains in north and south

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
highest point: Jabal ash Sham 2,980 m

Natural resources: petroleum, copper, asbestos, some marble, limestone, chromium, gypsum, natural gas

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 5%
forests and woodland: NA%
other: 95% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 580 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: summer winds often raise large sandstorms and dust storms in interior; periodic droughts

Environment—current issues: rising soil salinity; beach pollution from oil spills; very limited natural fresh water resources

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography—note: strategic location with small foothold on Musandam Peninsula adjacent to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil

 
People

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Population: 2,363,591 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 41% (male 488,244; female 469,831)
15-64 years: 57% (male 835,872; female 514,236)
65 years and over: 2% (male 28,966; female 26,442) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.45% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 37.83 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 4.37 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.63 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.1 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 25.55 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.02 years
male: 69.04 years
female: 73.1 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.13 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Omani(s)
adjective: Omani

Ethnic groups: Arab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi), African

Religions: Ibadhi Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Hindu

Languages: Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects

Literacy:
definition: NA
total population: approaching 80%
male: NA%
female: NA%

 
Government

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Country name:
conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman
conventional short form: Oman
local long form: Saltanat Uman
local short form: Uman

Data code: MU

Government type: monarchy

National capital: Muscat

Administrative divisions: 6 regions (mintaqah, singular—mintaqat) and 2 governorates* (muhafazah, singular—muhafazat) Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Ash Sharqiyah, Az Zahirah, Masqat, Musandam*, Zufar*

Independence: 1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)

National holiday: National Day, 18 November (1940)

Constitution: none; note—on 6 November 1996, Sultan QABOOS issued a royal decree promulgating a new basic law which, among other things, clarifies the royal succession, provides for a prime minister, bars ministers from holding interests in companies doing business with the government, establishes a bicameral Omani council, and guarantees basic civil liberties for Omani citizens

Legal system: based on English common law and Islamic law; ultimate appeal to the sultan; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: limited to approximately 50,000 Omanis chosen by the government to vote in elections for the Majlis ash-Shura

Executive branch:
chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al Said (since 23 July 1970); note—the sultan is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al Said (since 23 July 1970); note—the sultan is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the sultan
elections: none; the sultan is a hereditary monarch

Legislative branch: bicameral Majlis Oman consists of an upper chamber or Majlis ad-Dawla (41 seats; members appointed by the Sultan; has advisory powers only) and a lower chamber or Majlis ash-Shura (82 seats; members elected by limited suffrage, however, the Sultan makes final selections and can negate election results; body has some limited power to propose legislation, but otherwise has only advisory powers)
elections: last held NA October 1997 (next to be held NA 2000)
election results: NA

Judicial branch: none; traditional Islamic judges and a nascent civil court system, administered by region

Political parties and leaders: none

Political pressure groups and leaders: NA

International organization participation: ABEDA, AFESD, AL, AMF, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Abdallah bin Muhammad bin Aqil al-DHAHAB
chancery: 2535 Belmont Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-1980 through 1982, 1988
FAX: [1] (202) 745-4933

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Frances D. COOK
embassy: Jameat A'Duwal Al Arabiya Street, Al Khuwair area, Muscat
mailing address: domestic: Unit 73000, Box 1, APO AE 09890-3000; international: P. O. Box 202, Code No. 115, Medinat Qaboos, Muscat
telephone: [968] 698989 (Medinat Qaboos, switchboard)
FAX: [968] 699779

Flag description: three horizontal bands of white, red, and green of equal width with a broad, vertical, red band on the hoist side; the national emblem (a khanjar dagger in its sheath superimposed on two crossed swords in scabbards) in white is centered at the top of the vertical band

 
Economy

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Economy—overview: Economic performance is closely tied to the fortunes of the oil industry. Petroleum accounts for 75% of export earnings and government revenues and for roughly 40% of GDP. Oman has proved oil reserves of 4 billion barrels, equivalent to about 20 years' production at the current rate of extraction. Agriculture is carried on at a subsistence level and the general population depends on imported food. The year 1996 was marked by higher oil production and prices. The government is encouraging private investment, both domestic and foreign, as a prime force for further economic development.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$17.2 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 3.5% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$8,000 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 43%
services: 54% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 1% (1996 est.)

Labor force:
total: 780,500 (1997 est.)
by occupation: agriculture 37% (1993 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget:
revenues: $5.2 billion
expenditures: $6 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.3 billion (1998 est.)

Industries: crude oil production and refining, natural gas production, construction, cement, copper

Industrial production growth rate: 3% (1994 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 1.744 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 7.8 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 3,670 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa, vegetables; camels, cattle; annual fish catch averages 100,000 metric tons

Exports:
total value: $7.6 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)
commodities: petroleum 75%, reexports, fish, processed copper, textiles
partners: Japan 29%, South Korea 17%, China 12%, Thailand 11%, US 7% (1996)

Imports:
total value: $4.8 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)
commodities: machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
partners: UAE 22% (largely reexports), Japan 15%, UK 15%, France 6%, US 5% (1996)

Debt—external: $3 billion (1997 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $82 million (1993)

Currency: 1 Omani rial (RO) = 1,000 baiza

Exchange rates: Omani rials (RO) per US$1—0.3845 (fixed rate since 1986)

Fiscal year: calendar year

 
Communications

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Telephones: 150,000 (1994 est.)

Telephone system: modern system consisting of open wire, microwave, and radiotelephone communication stations; limited coaxial cable
domestic: open wire, microwave, radiotelephone communications, and a domestic satellite system with 8 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations—2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 1

Radios: 1.043 million (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 9

Televisions: 1.195 million (1992 est.)

 
Transportation

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Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 32,800 km
paved: 9,840 km (including 550 km of expressways)
unpaved: 22,960 km (1996 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 1,300 km; natural gas 1,030 km

Ports and harbors: Matrah, Mina' al Fahl, Mina' Raysut

Merchant marine:
total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 16,306 GRT/8,210 DWT
ships by type: cargo 1, passenger 1, passenger-cargo 1 (1996 est.)

Airports: 138 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 6
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 132
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 57
914 to 1,523 m: 32
under 914 m: 35 (1997 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1997 est.)

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